What did U.S. “human rights” do to Yemen?
TEHRAN- As U.S. officials tour the globe lecturing others on human rights, Washington stands accused of being the number one violator of human rights in the world. Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen, widely backed by the West and in particular the United States, is a prime case in point.
What did U.S. “human rights” do to Yemen? – On March 25, 2015, then-Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Adel al-Jubeir, declared war on Yemen from the American capital, Washington DC saying “Saudi Arabia has launched military operations” and claimed that the military operation was “designed to protect the people of Yemen” adding “the operation will be limited in nature”
The estimated “limited in nature” war turned out to be eight years of almost daily aerial bombardments in provinces across the Saudi Kingdom’s southern neighbor. Before the war, Yemeni officials argued Riyadh controlled almost all sectors of Yemeni society from its economy to its culture and that it was time for independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
The list of U.S. support for the Saudi war on Yemen is so long that senior Yemeni officials say it was America that waged war against their country, using the Saudis and other Persian Gulf Kingdoms as their proxies.
Rights groups accuse other Western countries of also being complicit in what they say are Saudi war crimes.
When the war on Yemen started in March 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense provided the Saudi-led coalition with weapons to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.
Among the many other types of support the U.S. supplied the Saudis during the war was the intelligence for which targets American-made Saudi warplanes should strike. The U.S. also provided military advice, and logistical support such as the mid-air refueling of warplanes while the Pentagon said the U.S. authorized American contractors to service the Saudi warplanes.
How did this “protect the people of Yemen”?
What Washington did not anticipate was a brave resistance by the Yemeni nation and their staunch support for the popular revolution led by the Ansarallah movement.
But the war has left an extremely dire situation for civilians living in West Asia’s poorest nation, especially Yemeni children who are suffering from unspeakable humanitarian conditions.
Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives. While a number of these lives were lost during hostilities, there is a considerable number of civilians who died because it was U.S.-made bombs, with U.S. intelligence, using U.S, made warplanes, with Saudi pilots trained in the U.S. and the UK that dropped bombs on Yemeni homes, schools, hospitals, funeral halls, and foreign humanitarian organizations, forcing them to withdraw their staff from the country.
These are newly published figures by the Yemeni monitoring group, the Entesaf Organization for Women and Child Rights (in comparison with figures by other groups and institutions, they are conservative numbers):
8,116 thousand children have been killed and wounded since the start of the U.S.-Saudi war.
5,559 thousand Yemeni children have been disabled as a result of armed hostilities since the start of the war.
632,000 children in Yemen suffer from acute malnutrition, which threatens their lives with death during the current year.
At Least two million and 400 thousand children are out of school, a generation that has lost out on education.
The NGO’s documentation of the number of child victims reached 8,116 casualties and fatalities in about 8 years.
The organization stated in a report it issued to mark the occasion of International Children’s Day, that the number of children that have been killed has reached three thousand and 860, while another four thousand and 256 other children have been wounded until November 19, 2022.
The Entesaf Organization has documented that the number of Yemeni people with disabilities has increased from three million before the U.S.-backed war began to 4.5 million people as of today. This highlights the ramifications of the all-out blockade on Yemen (in addition to the war imposed on it) that saw its airspace, sea, and land under an unprecedented siege.
The NGO group’s preliminary data reports that about six thousand civilians have been disabled as a result of armed hostilities since the start of the aggression, including approximately 5,559 children, but the actual figure, according to the NGO, is expected to be much higher.
The number of children that have lost out on education – at least two million and 400,000 are still out of school from an estimated 10.6 million children of school age (from six to 17 years), while nearly three thousand schools have either been completely destroyed or partially damaged across Yemen.
According to the statistics of the Education Ministry, it indicated that the number of children who will face interruption in education will likely rise to nearly six million Yemeni children as the country struggles with reconstruction efforts with the blockade essentially still in place.
The report also noted that 4,000 children were victims of the remnants of the weapons such as unexploded mines, including 131 children who were killed during the validity of the truce, which lasted for 6 months, with 25 children murdered as a result of bomb remnants.
The organization has also drawn attention to the exacerbation of child labor in Yemen because of the aggression and the all-out siege, pointing out that 1.4 million working children are deprived of their most basic rights, and that about 34.3% of working children are between the ages of five and 17. These new expanding phenomena of child labor during the war are at rates that exceed child labor four times more than before the war on Yemen started.
With regards to the health sector, it reported that public and private hospitals throughout the country face the threat of closure over the next few days and weeks because of the blockade and the enemies’ detention of oil derivatives ships.
The NGO touched on the tragic situation of children, as a result of the blockade, which led to an increase in malnutrition rates, as more than 2.3 million children under the age of five have been documented to be suffering from malnutrition, and 632,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, which is threatening their lives during the current calendar year.
Entesaf Organization added that more than 80 newborns die every day in Yemen because of internationally prohibited weapons that were used during the war, noting that this is one of the reasons for the high number of preterm infants, as 39% of newborns every year are born prematurely.
It held the coalition led by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia responsible for all crimes and violations against civilians, especially children, during the last eight years of war, calling on the international community, global organizations, and human rights and humanitarian bodies to bear responsibility for the violations and heinous massacres that have occurred against civilians.
The Entesaf Organization has further called on the international community to take effective and positive action to end the aggression and siege against civilians and to form an independent international commission to investigate all crimes committed against the Yemeni people and to hold accountable all those found complicit.
The Yemen Executive Mine Action Center has confirmed that 204 children were killed by cluster bombs and remnants of war, including 44 kids in eleven Yemeni provinces since the beginning of 2022.
In a statement, the center said “International Children’s Day is celebrated this year, and hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children continue to be deprived of their most basic rights, from health care, education, and food, suffering from remnants of war and cluster bombs”
In August 2018, munitions experts told American news network CNN, the bomb that was fired by Saudi warplanes and massacred dozens of Yemeni children on a school bus was a 500-pound (227-kilogram) laser-guided MK 82 bombs made by Lockheed Martin, one America’s biggest arms manufacturers.
Images of shrapnel filmed in the immediate aftermath of the attack were sent to the broadcaster with a cameraman working for CNN filming footage of the shrapnel.
Munitions experts confirmed that the numbers on it identified Lockheed Martin as its maker and that this particular MK 82 was a Paveway, a laser-guided bomb.
“I saw the bomb hit the bus,” one witness told the broadcaster. “It blew it into those shops and threw the bodies clear to the other side of those buildings. We found bodies scattered everywhere, there was a severed head inside the bomb crater.”
The CNN report said some of the bodies were so mutilated that identification became impossible and left behind scraps of school books, warped metal, and a single backpack. Of the 51 people who died in the attack, 40 were children, 79 people were wounded, with 56 of them also children.
Among the tens of thousands of Saudi airstrikes, another documented by the same broadcaster was a strike on a market by a U.S.-supplied precision-guided MK 84 bomb that massacred 97 Yemenis.
The bomb was very similar to the one that targeted a funeral hall in October 2016 massacring hundreds of people and injuring hundreds of others.
This is just a tiny fraction of the tens of thousands of similar attacks using American weapons to terrorize the Yemeni people into submission. However, the country’s armed forces, women, and children have shown unprecedented resilience in their support for the revolution and Sanaa’s victory over a superpower.
Also on display, during the war on Yemen, was Washington’s complete disregard for human rights and its attempts to deprive children of their right to life. This is not just limited to Yemen, but U.S. wars across the globe that have caused unprecedented suffering of children, from Cuba, and Vietnam to West Asia and beyond.
This is the same United States that claims to be the flagbearer of human rights and uses this pretext for its political and seditious goals.